Best Recumbent Bikes

Exercise in comfort! Stationary recumbent bikes are the gentlest of all exercise bikes. Unlike upright stationary bikes that can be rough on your body, the best recumbent bikes have chair-like seats with comfortable cushioning and great lumbar support. They can relieve pressure from your back as you lean back to cycle, plus this type of seated biking is less jarring to joints in your ankles, knees and hips. This is partly because you exert less downward pressure than when seated upright.

Recumbent bikes are ideal for people with limited mobility or back pain — but these comfortable cardio trainers are also popular with riders in top form. After all, their design prevents the literal pain in the rear that some people experience with upright exercise bikes. Plus, using a recumbent exercise bike is less likely to bring muscle soreness the following day.
Calorie burn is less intense than it is with upright stationary bikes, but the best recumbent stationary bikes can still be excellent tools for weight loss. They’re also useful for rehabilitation, muscle toning and cardiovascular workouts.

Our favorite recumbent exercise bikes – which are also on our general best exercise bikes page – address three groups of shoppers. For people who love to be online, NordicTrack entices with web-enabled touchscreens, tablet computer holders and unlimited workout downloads. For riders most interested in powerful resistance, Diamondback Fitness beckons with 32-pound flywheels. Their best recumbent bike has dozens of built-in programs too, some of which are heart rate controlled. Finally, we suggest Sole Fitness to luxury shoppers and light commercial fitness room buyers. Sole’s best recumbent bike is made to light commercial standards and has an extra-long parts warranty for residential owners. Specs include a 30-pound drive, 10 preset programs and wireless heart rate control.

Best Recumbent Bikes for Home Use

Quiet operation and a relatively affordable price of entry are two of the key criteria that make for a good home recumbent bike. They also offer several training programs to help motivate those who are new to home training or who like to mix up their routine.

Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors

When gearing bikes towards seniors a few details are taken into consideration that are less of a priority for other categories. An increased focus on ergonomics, increased seat padding, and the use of a slightly lighter flywheel are all part of the equation when looking at these recumbent bikes.

Best Recumbent Bikes for Weight Loss

Ready to train hard? These sturdy and well-executed recumbent bikes are designed for heavy and frequent use, all while providing the comfort and convenience required to keep you motivated as you pedal away.

Best Recumbent Bikes for Value

No matter what you're shopping for, getting good bang for your buck is always a good thing. Of the many competitors, these recumbent bikes offer an excellent balance of features and build quality in relation to their cost of entry.

14 Comments
  1. Lynn July 5, 2019 at 10:20 am From: Usa. Northern va
    Would you please advise on staionary recumbant bike. 58 year oldFemale 4'11", 115 pounds. Neck injuries & lower back injuries. Taking into consideration flywheel want resistance that could help get stronger, not too light, taking into consideration getting holder so not too heavy. Being able to comfortably reach pedals & comfortably hopefully pain free will be the most important co considerations. Want to stay under $1,000. Lynn
    • Bike Review Pros July 11, 2019 at 1:58 pm
      Hi Lynn, I would suggest looking at the ProForm 440 ES Recumbent Bike. It features a ventilated seat to support your lower back and can be adjusted vertically and horizontally. This bike provides a good range of resistance levels for physical therapy, keeping muscles toned, and revving up the metabolism. You can check out our full review here: https://www.exercisebike.net/proform/440-es/
  2. Darcy Robinson May 22, 2019 at 11:45 am From: Freedom
    I want a recumbent bike but whenever I ride one I always hit the back of my thighs on the seat and its super uncomfortable. Like the pedals are to low for the seat and should be more in line horizontal. Does this make sense? Do you know of any bike like that?
    • Bike Review Pros July 11, 2019 at 1:41 pm
      Hi Darcy, it is possible that you just need to adjust your seat so that the pedals are at a more comfortable level.
  3. Anne Swan April 1, 2019 at 1:12 pm From: Michigan
    Thank you for your reviews. Could you address the slanted track of the seat adjustment? My husband and I are both tall and, after trying several recumbent bikes in stores, feel that these bikes offer only a semi-recumbent ride to tall riders. The taller you are, the higher the seat in relation to the pedals. The adjustment track on the machine in physical therapy was flat and gave me a truly recumbent ride. I am disappointed in the bikes I can buy for home use. What gives? I have a knee that does not tolerate upright bikes any more and would like to get the same experience I did in PT.
    • Bike Reviews Pros April 3, 2019 at 11:57 am
      Hi Anne, yes you are correct that for taller individuals it will bring the seat to a higher angle when riding. I may suggest you look into some of the indoor cycling bikes rather than recumbent for your individual enjoyment. The SOLE SB900 is a great bike that won't cause you to be on an angle and you could adjust in 3 different points for the best comfort. These bikes are under "indoor cycle" on our website!
  4. Deborah Howell January 24, 2019 at 12:59 pm From: Missouri
    Why, no, ratings for XTerra recumbent bikes?
    • BikeReviewsnet January 25, 2019 at 11:07 am
      The XTerra recumbent bike is reviewed and rated here https://www.exercisebike.net/xterra/switchback-4-5r/
  5. Ellen Rothman January 18, 2019 at 5:44 pm
    I have been looking for a recumbant bike. I use a life fitness in the gym and considered a precor at a fitness store. Why are neither of these listed among your 'favorites'? Thanks Ellen
    • BikeReviewsnet January 21, 2019 at 11:44 am
      Hi Ellen, That depends - do you know what Life Fitness and Precor models you tried? Those companies both make great machines but they can be quite expensive so I'd like to have a closer look first!
  6. Brice January 16, 2019 at 11:28 am From: Kansas
    One thing I see missing from almost all of your reviews and is important is the height limits both short and tall of riders. I have chatted with companies direct to get the information which makes it a pain to determine if I may consider possibly buy a specific bike. For instance my wife is 5' tall and the Nordic Track recommends 5'2" as shortest to use bike to view screen and programs. A person 4'*' can ride the bike but would strain to use programming screen.
    • BikeReviewsnet January 18, 2019 at 5:23 pm
      Hi Brice, thanks for the input , we’ll take your suggestion on height restrictions into consideration. Is there anything else that you would like to see?
      • Al February 28, 2019 at 12:43 pm
        Yes I agree with Brice, being able to filter by bikes that accommodate shorter or taller (as is my case) users would be very useful. It is disappointing to think you have found the one you like and then a bunch of research later realize that you wouldn't fit on it! That said this site is great as I have never bought a bike before and the reviews are very helpful.
        • Exercise Bike Editorial Team February 28, 2019 at 2:20 pm
          Hi Al, It's always great to hear that we're doing a good job reviewing - Thank you! We will take your suggestions into the consideration with respect to the height criteria. Being avid exercise bike enthusiasts we are always looking for more criteria to review our bikes. Do you have any other suggestions we could use? Thanks!

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Why Choose Indoor Cycling?

Cycling is one of the best types of exercise around. Whether you choose to ride a road bike, hit the trails on a mountain bike, cycle for transport, or work out on a stationary exercise bike, you will enjoy a wide range of benefits including fat burning, improved fitness, stronger and more toned legs, and better health. As a form of effective exercise, cycling really is hard to beat!

However, there are two sides to every story and, with cycling, some of the benefits of this type of exercise are outweighed by a few drawbacks.

For example, if you ride a bike out on the street, you’ll have to contend with inclement weather, badly maintained roads, and other road users. Plus, your workout may be interrupted by a puncture or some other mechanical breakdown.

Of course, you could swap your outdoor bike for an indoor exercise bike. This eliminates all of the hassles of outdoor cycling but adds one more thing you need to consider – comfort.

Unfortunately, some people find standard exercise bikes uncomfortable. This is often only discovered after a few workouts. As you get fitter and are able to spend longer and longer on your exercise bike, you may well come to realize that you are not suited to using a regular bike.

That’s not too much of an issue if you use an exercise bike at your local gym but, if you have purchased an exercise bike for home use you could find yourself saddled (pun intended!) with an exercise machine that is less than pleasurable to use. And if you don’t enjoy your workout, you are much less likely to do it, so this is a major consideration.

Time To Get Moving

Humans are really good at avoiding doing things we don’t enjoy. It provides with the perfect excuse we need to do something else. If your exercise bike is uncomfortable, you have the perfect justification you need for lounging on your sofa instead of putting in a few miles on your indoor cycle. Do not underestimate the importance of comfort in creating and maintaining a sustainable exercise schedule!

Regular exercise bikes feature an upright body position and you have to support your weight on your pelvis and on your hands as you lean forward on the handlebars. This often leads to a rounded back.

Exercising with a rounded back is not a good idea. Most people spend way too much time sat down as they work at computers or hunch over steering wheels. This can lead to very bad posture, and an increased risk of suffering back pain. Back pain can make life very uncomfortable, making sitting, standing, walking, and even sleeping very unpleasant.

The good news is that poor posture is relatively easy to fix with a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises but, if you already have a rounded upper and lower back, working out in a stationary bike is probably going to make things worse. Don’t worry though – there IS type of exercise bike that can help relieve back pain!

Cycling Comfortably

Exercise bike saddles can also be a source of discomfort. Outdoor cycling enthusiasts and experienced spin bike riders often wear padded shorts to help make things more bearable, but that means a) having to dress in Lycra and b) purchasing shorts just for exercise.

Bike manufacturers usually put good quality saddles on their machines but, even then, the saddle might not suit you. It’s also worth noting that a wide saddle that looks like it should provide a comfortable ride is actually often less comfy than a narrower saddle. However, narrow saddles can take some getting used to.

While you can often swap the saddle for one that is more comfortable, and most exercise bikes are adjustable, so you can make sure your machine fits you as well as possible, this can all add up to an uncomfortable cycling position.

Regular exercise bikes often encourage you to lean forward and adopt a sort of aerodynamic position. This might make you feel like a “real” cyclist but could cause hand and wrist pain. And let’s be honest; when you work out on a stationary exercise bike, aerodynamics are not really a concern.

This combination of elements could be enough to stop you using your bike often enough to enjoy all the benefits on offer, and you might even stop using it altogether.

Is a Recumbent Bike For You?

There is no need to suffer for your fitness – exercise in comfort! Stationary recumbent bikes are the gentlest of all exercise bikes. Unlike upright stationary bikes that can be rough on your body, the best recumbent bikes have chair-like seats with comfortable cushioning and great lumbar support. They can relieve pressure from your back as you lean back to cycle, plus this type of seated biking is less jarring to joints in your ankles, knees and hips. This is partly because you exert less downward pressure than when seated upright.

Benefits of a Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bikes are ideal for people with limited mobility or back pain — but these comfortable cardio trainers are also popular with riders in top form. After all, their design prevents the literal pain in the rear that some people experience with upright exercise bikes. Plus, using a recumbent exercise bike is less likely to bring muscle soreness the following day.

Calorie burn is less intense than it is with upright stationary bikes, but the best recumbent stationary bikes can still be excellent tools for weight loss. They’re also useful for rehabilitation, muscle toning and cardiovascular workouts.

As well as being more comfortable and easier on your lower back, butt, and legs, recumbent exercise bikes also put you in the ideal position for watching TV while you exercise. This can provide the ideal distraction that many exercisers need to make their workouts more entertaining. On a regular upright exercise bike, as you lean forward with your hands on the handle bars, trying to watch TV as you work out will probably cause neck pain.

If you want to cycle for fitness but are concerned about comfort, or think that a regular exercise bike might be too advanced for you, consider buying a recumbent bike. They provide a great solution for the problems that some exercisers experience with regular stationary indoor bikes.

Ready for lots of choices? Browse our stationary recumbent bike reviews and choose your new ride! We’ve reviewed the spectrum from cheap recumbent bikes to elite fitness machines. Just click an image below to get an honest point-by-point review. We start off with the positives of each choice and then point out possible drawbacks.

Popular two-in-one fitness machines are reviewed here too. These recumbent bikes can also tone the upper body, so they’re sometimes called total body trainers. For example, the Yowza Naples Recumbent Trainer has moving arm bars, and the Avari Conversion II recumbent bike can be converted to a rowing machine.

All Recumbent Bikes
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Home Use
Seniors
Value
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$1 - $499
$500 - $999
$1,000 - $1,499
$1,500 - $1,999
$2,000 - $2,499
$2,500 - $2,999
$3,000+
woman alternating between elliptical and exercisebike on Proform Hybrid Trainer XT

The Proform Hybrid Trainer XT is both an elliptical trainer and a recumbent bike. The price point ($399) and resistance levels make it a…

A feature rich and comfortable recumbent bike.

The True ES700 Recumbent Bike is comfortable and offers a variety of programs, especially with the premium console.

This recumbent bike from True Fitness offers a comfortable ride and workout experience.

The comfortable Commercial VR21 is an entry level recumbent bike with a variety of features and iFit Coach readiness.

The Matrix R30 is a high-end recumbent exercise bike for home use. Its innovative frame allows easy access and remarkable stability for riders up…

left side view of Matrix R50

The R50 leads the Matrix recumbent bike series for home gyms. Riders relax into its oversized high-backed seat, but they can take exercise seriously…

Affordable and easy to use, the Sole R72 recumbent bike proves that you don't need to risk injury and strain to get in a…

The shiny SK8400 Recumbent is one of BH Fitness’s most exclusive reclining exercise bikes. It can handle more than eight hours of use daily…

The BH Fitness LK700R Recumbent is a durable bike meant for commercial and light commercial settings. Energy from pedaling is used to power the…

The BH Fitness LK500Ri Recumbent is a classy choice for light commercial fitness rooms and home gyms. If desired, a rider can use their…

The S5Ri Recumbent Bike is the most robust reclining bike in BH Fitness's Signature Series. Highlights include 26 preset programs, iConcept for an online…

The S3Ri Recumbent Bike is gentle on the body, pre-loaded with workouts and easily connected to the Internet. Bring your own technology; your own…

The S1Ri Recumbent Bike is BH Fitness’s lowest-priced reclining bike. This popular residential fitness machine is gentle on the body, packed with workouts and…

The Vision R70 Commercial Recumbent Bike is a classic reclining bike for any setting. Whether used at home, in a physical therapy clinic or…

The Vision R40 Recumbent Bike with choice of three consoles can serve different sorts of shoppers, from those who just want basics to people…

The Vision R20 Recumbent Bike is a top product for home gyms. It can be equipped for different workouts, whether basic or luxurious, and…

The inexpensive Schwinn A25 Recumbent Bike provides very low-intensity exercise with adjustable back support. It has a light drive, eight resistance levels and six…

The Schwinn A20 is a recumbent bike offering rather light resistance and six preset workouts. It is one of the lowest-priced products on our…

Left side view of Schwinn 270

The 270 is Schwinn's best recumbent exercise bike. It’s loaded with 29 diverse workout modes, has heart rate control, and uses a 17-pound flywheel.

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